Millettia Pinnata is a species of tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, native to the eastern and tropical Asia, Australia, and Pacific islands. It is often known by the synonym Pongamia Pinnata.
Karanja Oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of the fruit of Karanja / Indian Beech plant (Pongamia pinnate) or Pongam Oil Tree. It is a drought-resistant, semi-deciduous & nitrogen-fixing leguminous tree found in temperate parts of Asia including India, China, Malaysia, Japan and Australia.
Karanja oil extraction from the seeds is done by cold press method in a mechanical expeller and it is considered non-edible due to its bitter taste and unpleasant smell. It is mainly used in Ayurveda for the treatment of skin diseases and rheumatism.
Karanja is widely used in managing constipation as it helps to improve gut motility and has a laxative property. It might also be used for piles due to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to Ayurveda, Karanja oil is mainly applied on the skin to manage boils and eczema as well as heal wounds due to its healing and antimicrobial property.
Karanja Oil Uses In Agriculture As A Pesticide
One of the main uses of this semi yellowish-brown oil is in the agricultural field, as a potent pesticide. The alkaloid present in the oil shows antifeedancy in adult and nymphs of mites, thrips, jassids and whiteflies. It controls all varieties of mites. Karajin is the main active component which acts as an acaricide and insecticide and also contains nitrification inhibitory properties.
Karanja is a medicinal herb mainly used for skin disorders. All parts of Karanja tree (roots, flowers, leaves ,bark) are used for medicinal purposes.
MAJOR BENEFITS OF KARANJA OIL
Karanja oil can treat Vatadosha and help help treat pain due to its Vata balancing properly. Karanja oil is used as a massage oil for joint pain and swelling in the joints.
Cough and Cold
Karanja is useful to manage cough and cold especially whopping cough. This is due to its Kapha balancing properly.
The anti-oxidant properties of Karanja can prevent cell damage and heal ulcers. External ulcers are also easily to treat with Karanja oil. It is an effective home remedy.
Loss of appetite
Karanja helps to improve appetite when it is made a part of the daily diet. It stimulates digestion and improves appetite due to its appetizer property.
Karanja oil is a good source of fatty acids that can help heal wounds. It has anti-bacterial, anti- inflammatory and anti-fungal properties and is used to treat skin conditions like eczema. It also protects the skin from UV rays.
Karanja oil has weather- resistant roots and is rich in antioxidants, making it beneficial in avoiding greying of hair. The oil also acts as an astringent and protects the scalp barrier. The anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties of this oil can help treat scalp irritation as well as dandruff. It eliminates hair dryness caused by sun exposure.
Beneficial in syphilis
Mixing one to two drops of lemon juice in Karanja oil and applying it to the wound provides relief in smallpox.
The fresh Karanja cake (the remnants after oil pressing) is also effective particularly against pesticides called nematodes. The dried leaves if kept in grain stores also repels insects.